I paint my subject as he gets in touch with his inner self. Whenever one looks at my painting, I want him to answer this question: What does it mean to be a person historically, experientially and personally? The viewer has to go beyond the surface and reflect on what he sees so as to arrive at a deeper understanding of the human psyche. This is the foremost reason why I do not render my subject based on the usual standard of rendering it; symbolism always being an integral part of my work. Philosopher Descartes says “I think therefore I am.” In my paintings, I say “I think and I feel therefore I am.” Painting is not a matter of duplicating an image but capturing my subject’s essence- soul on canvas.
Arlene de Castro-Anonuevo (Adecastroan) is a true daughter of Iba, Zambales, having been born and raised in this rustic town by Carlos Gonzales de Castro, a Zambaleno of Spanish descent and Estela Sy Loria, his Chinese-mestiza wife from Pangasinan. Her paternal roots in this place can be traced as far back as the time of her great-grand uncle, revolutionary patriot Andres de Castro Bonifacio, whose mother Catalina is a de Castro from Dirita, a barrio in Iba.
Art beckoned early to Adecastroan. Gifted with a highly imaginative mind, at age four, she began trading playtime for hours of sketching, a passion so consuming that images on her mind seemed to spill out ceaselessly so that the world becomes one giant sheet to draw on.
At age eighteen, Adecastroan’s passion for drawing waned as she focused on her studies at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. After graduating with a degree in sociology, her creative expression was further relegated in favor of family and career. It was only in 2009, after her retirement as a stewardess in Cathay Paific Airways, and later as assistant front office manager at the Midtown
Hotel, that she returned to her first love. Adecastroan began to devote full time honing her art, shifting from sketching to painting seriously. Although largely self-taught, she learned the basics of painting from master painter Fernando Sena, and Arte Pintura artists Addie Cukingnam, Azor Pazcoguin, and Rey Ademis.
Themes of magical realism weave through Adecastroan’s work, whether her subject be portrait, nude, animal, or flower. Her paintings reflect the beauty of nature, and her colors reververate with the vibrant hues of wild forests, the vivid colors of sea and river, and the deepest shades of the mountains. Her subjects are mostly women – virgins and earthy women alike, usually accentuated by an animal or flower that mesmerize the viewer.
Adecastroan is one versatile artist. She can easily shift from one style to another- realism, expressionism, surrealism and abstract. Her collection of work is almost eclectic. What unifies her variety of style is her attention to details, the use of allegory, the story and emotion she imparts in each of her work that invite the viewer to explore the depths of her subject and have a glimpse of her soul as an artist. She further enhances the expression of her art by using a broad range of medium: pastel, watercolor, oil, and acrylic on paper and canvas.
Adecastroan had her two solo art exhibits at the Heritage Art and Antiquities Gallery and Bali Estela in 2009 and 2012 respectively. She has recently paricipated in a two- woman art show and regularly joins various group exhibits. She is an active member of the Pinoy na Pinoy Visual Artist Association Incorporated (PPVAAI) and also of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Her artistic pursuit supports her staunch advocacy for animal rights and wefare.
See more of Arlene here.
To the young the old master says,
C’mon get up and welcome the day
A new born hay bounty in May
Let the eyes galore on tiny grains
As they grow old and sprout in pain
Withered by heat, washed out by storm
Yet they bloom anew and kiss the morn
And in the field golden to light they’re sworn.
See more of the works here.
Asian arts are cultural, highly in fact. And when they are, one can root them from the dominant religion a particular society embraces. ARTYii has exposed itself to differing beliefs yet in the entirety of Asia, Christianity is, no doubt, in the soul of most Filipinos. And Pastor Robert Buen knows this by heart.
A man inspired by spirituality can do things that himself wonders how he can. Leading a religious ministry, having a great family, surrounded by supportive friends and good people, depression in life did not just pass through the house of Pastor Buen but confidently knocked and welcomed itself home. His strength was tested. But a man of faith knew from whom help can be sourced. Year 2010, he found himself painting—a level much higher than what he was capable to do in the field of arts which were illustrations. And this time, he incorporates the source of his recently realized gift in his works. Despite portrayal of typical subjects of paintings, one message is subtly projected in his arts. It is the artist’s love for Jesus and his country.
The exhibit went well. Overall, it is simple, exclusive, and classy—just exactly how I see the artist himself. Despite simplicity and refinement the pastor projects, one can spot the artist in him. During his solo art exhibition, I could not feel and see the countenance of a being meant to preach. But judging him from the first time we were introduced up to the time his big event was held, the pastor maintains a very cool aura. And if pride is a sin, let him catch it big time. The pastor will not allow a high-paying clientele to dictate him what can be done in his arts that is beyond his standard of beauty and expression. Blame it to a typical artist’s pride! Pastor Robert Buen refuses to be merely a brush of his works but he is also the MIND inspired by his very own faith.
Crossroads Art Event is quite an experience. It opens us to a realization that God wants the best for his beloved. The pastor devoted himself to taking care of his family and his ministry opening the minds of the people of the love of Jesus for them. But depression knocked him down only to take heed for a call to pursue what he is born to do, to enjoy and benefit from an innate talent God bestowed upon him prior to his conception. “ "Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you.”
See more of the artist here.
I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. Moscow is a big megapolis, one of the greatest cities in the world-- full of joy and entertainment. There is neither boredom nor routinary life with this kind of environment.
I expressed myself through tales and stories. True. I am a Russian writer. My language is difficult not even natives can speak it right but proud to say it is my mastery.
But time came, out of necessity, I had to move to Israel and became an immigrant.
I can say that immigrant's life for me is quite difficult all because those who are dear to me and all what are dear to me now are far away. Israel is a very tiny country-- same people, same places, day after day. Moreover,nobody is interested in my strongest power and that as I have mentioned is my talent in writing which I can say had been one of the causes of my depression along with the boring life I was having, work stress, and so was with social hunger.
This is the point in my life where art had been a hospitable resource of finding joy again. Truly, I found comfort with brushes and paints. I will not say that I am a pro but I am learning and very much willing to improve and develop my skills on the arts as how I managed to develop my writing in my native language.
Language of colors is wonderful, exciting, and most importantly international. In Israel, people easily fall in love with contemporary arts. I gradually gained recognition as a talented young artist—an emerging one just as how this reputable ARTYII gladly welcomes. Who knows what will be in the future? At least for today, I am pleased and grateful to present to you my pictures.
See more of Maria here.
Early in the 1980’s, Mumbai, India, a young lady of 25 held her first solo exhibition. That lady was my mother, and through her, my journey into the world of art started much before I was even born. Since childhood I was deeply attracted towards various forms of liberal arts whether the visual arts, performing arts, languages or history. A rigorous seven years of training in the classical Indian dance form of Bharatnatyam taught me the discipline, perseverance and dedication required while practicing any art form which comes in handy when I am painting.
My mother has been my greatest inspiration and I remember spending hours painting with her, time would really fly then. I decided to choose a creative career and studied at the Faculty of Design, CEPT University under the guidance of some of the most brilliant design minds in Asia. In 2006 I received the Baden – Wurttemberg Scholarship to study in Germany which exposed me to the original masters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh and international painters like Klimt and Feininger. I travelled around Europe and visited several museums and art galleries there which just asserted my love for this art form. But the long work hours and the pressure to meet the submission requirements forced me to put painting aside completely. But life is not always a bed of roses, a personal tragedy struck and art came to my rescue then. The sadness, the anger and every other choked emotion found its voice on the paper and in the paints. I have been painting since then.
I started with realistic depictions of nature, village scenes and still life. I tried to understand and express the minute details, the true colours and the human proportions and form. But I soon realised that I craved for freedom while painting, a desire to break free from the lines and the structure that bound the painting. This led to a gradual change in my style and I have begun to explore a more abstract, fluid and experimental approach towards painting.
My works are full of bright colours which are a mirror to the energy and positivity I experience while painting. My style is defined by straight lines, bold strokes and simplicity of form and composition. Painting for me is divine, honest and true to its core with the capacity to stir the deepest emotions in its viewers. They say art saves lives. It sure has saved mine. I thank my mother for painting today has become the elixir of my life.
See more of the artist here.
Talk about life- the nearness of you and I
Talk about time- flying from all my cries
coming up with something to realize
the love we had has come to its height.
Talk about things that traverse the eye
The magic of words; the feelings alive
The humming of birds; the waters in tide
two souls collide enthralled by the light.
Talk about true bliss in a grey- filled sky
colors and luster of a gloomy cold night
Why take the bad along with what’s right
and fire a life to watch the stars aligned?
Could it be that love has reasoned its own
Seasoned by passion, all spoken in songs?
What happens goes beyond the divine
For no human has told this love so fine.
My name is Yusach Nh-- a professional sculptor and a painter learning from nature and the development of human culture as a manifestation of human life on earth and to which life for me is a masterpiece creation of the God Almighty. And life for me is growth in the process and so are the creative arts that represent it, and so am I- embracing my growth!
I know that I live by art. It addresses all my needs-- the need to express the conscience, instinct, and intuition, the need to translate my attention on things. Yes, that certain aspect of the beauty of life. Just like any other artist, I try to look at all aspects of life from the elements of art. As a painter, I have to question life’s beauty and flaws and from there my imagination begins. My life is principled and so are my arts. And this gives me confidence as an artist in a world where creative beings reign.
The principle of art life:
In life people often get caught up to compete. The competition could be in any field. But as for me, if I want to move forward, I do not compete but simply excel in whatever field that I am good at and contribute to the best of my ability to the art world. This is a mission—one that God blesses.
I prefer the truth of victory that comes from my true excellence and in fact unmindful of the excellence of others. In this kind, there is no failure but all success from continuous honing of what God has given us.
Just like any true-blooded artist, I prefer setting the trend than following what is hip in the market. And just as every artist needs, I need the strength to stick to who I am and what I am for my own identity will be spoken by my arts.
Apparently fame is tempting to curtail my desire of serving others. And I thank the heavens that I was given the heart to continue what I love to do.
See Part 1 here.
Once cut up or recycled the story behind the work becomes a little clearer to the viewer; shocking perhaps, but so is our destruction of our only true provider, our earth.
I sit on a sarong, my feet pointing in the direction of the eventual (but not seen) sunset and the flamboyant flotilla this particular beach offers its ‘high season’ visitors. I am at the beach but not connected as I sit on manmade fabric, under manmade shade. The significance of my feet pointing towards the eventual dusk, as if standing on it, is one of disrespect but also one of a lack of understanding that a view is not necessarily as we think we see it.
• The purple beach flowers (commonly known as Beach Morning Glory), represent the following: Firstly, the colour symbolises royalty as well as knowledge and I feel that mankind generally has a pretty regal opinion of itself as if in control of our planet. Humankind also believes it is intelligent and yet what is more in tune, the plants and animals or us?
Fractured View (Recycled Version)
• Secondly, the yellow background colour in the panels and the altered colour of the foliage within these panels represent the resultant view if we continue perceiving our world through fractured lenses and destroy it until life, in all its glorious colour ceases to exist and like Mars, earth dies.
• Lastly, the cracked (and eventual) peeling paint, of the red umbrella flaps, in this particular work is intentional. Like our impact on the planet, we destroy so much that we touch. Over time, as these umbrella flaps disintegrate, they will physically damage the painting, just as we damage out world.
(See Fractured View prior to recycle for comparison)
By re-cycling my finished work to create a ‘second’ painting, about a particular subject, I am admitting my own blind guilt – I take an object that is perfectly good as it is and alter it. Perhaps into something more agreeable on the eye, perhaps not, it depends on what I want to say. If a work sells, before seeing my knife, it adds to the overall statement in my work: to preserve what we have left.
The following are some more examples of my recycled work:
From a simple painting of two fishermen, once cut, became EQUAL COMPETITION and tells an added side to the story.
EQUAL COMPETITION ( Original Version)
EQUAL COMPETITION ( Recycled Version)
In the example below, I used two separate paintings to create the triptych work now titled GOING FOR GOLD.
GOING FOR GOLD p.1 ( Prior to Recycling)
GOING FOR GOLD p.2
GOING FOR GOLD (The end-product)
See more of Robin here.
We used to live in a perfect world. As individuals, many do their best to preserve and protect our planet. Each considers their efforts good enough. We continue to build, reproduce, re-cycle and re-create; yet in doing so we destroy the one thing that gives us life, our earth!
This lack of true understanding or brainwashed belief that somehow things will be okay because as individuals (perhaps) we are at least making an attempt to recycle is a myth. Not one of us does enough. How many of us follow fashion, drive to the local store, have more than 3 pairs of shoes, leave lights on when not in use, discard more than one dustbin full of garbage, mostly packaging or unwanted food, in a week or for that matter a month? The list goes on and each of us, particularly those in so called civilized environments continue the destruction on a par with madness.
It is due to this frustrating parochial view that I began cutting my paintings up.
Destroying their completed perfection – just as we do to our world, I recycle the works, adding to the original story. This in turn helps me to get my message across on a more readily readable level. I encourage the viewer to stand back, re-assess their environmental contribution, and hopefully disturb them enough to make them rethink their involvement in the planet’s preservation.
A typical example of this is my painting titled FRACTURED VIEW. It started out as a portrayal of my local beach devoid of its human destroyers bar the umbrella evidence of humanity and its obvious pomposity (the yachts). A pleasant view, quiet, relaxing, sun filled and happy yet the underlying message is symbolic of our lax attitude to the global problem.
Original Work-- Fractured View
Recycled Work-- Fractured View
See more of Robin here.
“My aim is to capture the thought between the spoken words and what the
eye can capture” -- Ingela Johansson
Ingela has been in Singapore for almost a year and Asia has had a major impact on her art and how she looks upon art. To create a Nordic and Asian art fusion is a major inspiration. At the moment she is working on a new exhibit that will be done for the autumn where she is experimenting with a totally new technique in mixed media. Using photography, digital editing, and painting.
It is going to be called Singapore – Global Hot Pot
To her Singapore is one of the most exciting places because on this small island you can feel like you are on a tour around the globe. Each piece in the exhibit will have a red main character, although not necessarily a person. Every picture will suggest a story but then of course the spectator can rewrite it.
The exhibit will not in any way show the whole picture of Singapore but just a few glimpses of the global contrasts that you can find walking the streets of the city. Hopefully the pictures will inspire but also will give new view points and possibly tell stories that you have seen and others that you are not expecting.
"To tell stories in pictures is key in all my pieces.”-- Ingela
Pearls of Tide
Story: In time of rapid changes you can find the pearl and what really is important to you.
Picture Bride – preview
”The bride at Marin Bay--- Is she heading towards her wedding or is she on her way towards a new direction in life in the financial district?”
Story: One expression usually holds so many more. It takes time to see behind the first, the second, and the third to get to know one another.
Ingela Johansson was born in Sweden and has been creating picture stories since childhood. The main technique is her signature collages all connected to story telling. She has also been working with silk painting and illustrations for books and cooperations. To Ingela, a piece becomes more interesting with a story attached. Ingela was educated at The American College for the Applied Arts in London and at Nordic Design School in Borås.
She has had solo exhibitions in Sweden, and participated in exhibitions in Sweden, London and Paris. Ingela today is running Swedish Art and Design in Singapore, teaching, and creating art.
Please see more of Ingela here.